REVIEW: The Body in the Stairwell

When I read The Body in the Mist by Nick Louth a couple of months ago I said I think I had enjoyed the book for all the wrong reasons.

Well I think I enjoyed The Body in the Stairwell for all the right reasons.

This is number 10 of 10 in the series of DCI Craig Gillard novels Louth has penned.

Published in 2022, it runs to a respectable 285 pages and is slightly different to the other books in that the action centres around a kidnapping rather than a murder.

There is a body – you could probably guess that from the book’s title – but it isn’t the main theme of this story.

Jonathan Hale is a wealthy property lawyer and money launderer who has just returned to the UK after a spell in an American jail where he spent a very short amount of time for giving evidence against a hardened gangster. Hale’s plea bargain put the man known as The Reptile in a max-security prison in Arizona for life.

Hale has moved house, hidden his identity, installed the very best in security and taken every precaution to keep himself, his wife and daughter safe.

But then The Reptile escapes and finds his way to England and Hale’s daughter, her friend and her sister definitely aren’t safe any more.

This is a fast-paced page turner and I didn’t laugh in the wrong places once.

I enjoyed the way the narrative switches back and forth between concentrating on the Hale family and their friends and, of course, DCI Gillard, and then The Reptile and his associates and escape.

These books are quick reads for me, I tend to plough through them without having to think too deeply about them and sometimes that it just what you need.

I think I enjoyed this one more than all the others I have read – and I am pretty sure this was the eighth. I’ll read all of them eventually. It’s just that there are plenty more books on the To Be Read shelves.

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